by Luong Thu Huong
Duong Nga's seven-month-old son is learning to crawl, has grown three milk teeth and weighs eight kilograms. Now, everyone knows, thanks to Facebook.
Within five minutes of being posted, the picture received more than 50 "likes" and many comments, about its cuteness and how well fed he was.
"My friends are very interested in my son's pictures. Whenever I upload a new one, they ask me to post more", she says.
Nga adds that she considers her Facebook page as a journal of her son's growing process, which she keeps updating weekly, even daily or hourly, whenever he changes or learns a new skill.
"My parents live far away from us, so they will know how my son has grown up thanks to this e-journal. My husband also has to go on business frequently. Facebook helps him keep track of his son every day," Nga said.
The recent development of the technology has allowed mothers like Nga connected to the internet to share pictures of their babies to everyone in seconds, regardless of the distance. It has particularly become a habit among new mothers who take great pride in their newborns.
Le Thuy Linh, 22, said: "During my six-month maternity leave, caring the baby takes most of my time. My only source of recreation is posting photos of my daughter on Facebook to share with my friends and my colleagues whom I often do not meet for six months."
Linh added that comments from her friends stimulated her to take the best care of her baby, despite all the challenges and stresses that a young mother has to encounter.
This writer believes there is nothing wrong about mothers wanting to express affection for their beloved babies, unless it becomes excessive, when the mother becomes obsessed about updating information about her child.
Recently, an Australian mother received a letter from one of her friends complaining that she was showing off her six-month-old daughter too much on Facebook.
"I have got together with a few of the girls and we are all so over your running commentary of your life and every single thing Addy does," wrote the friend in her letter. "Addy is gorgeous and we all love her, but our kids are great too."
Nguyen Tuan Anh, a 28-year-old IT engineer, also complains when his Facebook page becomes full of pictures of babies.
"At first I was much interested in them. The babies are so cute. However, when their pictures appear too much, I started to feel annoyed.
"Some of my friends have even created a page for their small babies. Sometimes I think they are addicted to uploading photos of their children on Facebook."
Furthermore, as they think their children are still too small and naive to feel ashamed, many mother shares sensitive and private pictures, like those of their babies sleeping, taking a bath or even being naked. Those photos could be used illegally by paedophiles or be an eternal source of shame for children growing up.
Many parents check on Facebook anywhere they go, for example, eating in an expensive restaurant, and of course, taking pictures with their babies. They are not aware that this could be a hindrance to their baby's future.
As their private information like name, age, family background or even address is all revealed on the internet, the children might become the victim of spiteful comments or even targeted by criminals.
Instead of all this public display, educationalists suggest parents should keep a private diary or book about their babies growing up instead of displaying it all on the internet.
Nguyen Phuong Hoa, a psychological lecturer at Viet Nam National University, said that whenever parents had to educate their children about such things as stubbornness or disobedience, they should note down the children's behaviour to save or share with close friends or relatives.
She said that by reviewing a diary, mothers can develop a more objective opinion about their children's thinking and moods. Sharing moments of their children being sad or happy on Facebook is not bad, but parents should think about their children's future.
"They should post appropriate photos of their children on Facebook on some occasions, but avoid revealing private information," Hoa suggested. — VNS